ITN struggling to find a new political editor

ITN is having difficulty in finding a high-calibre political editor to take over from Michael Brunson who retires early next year, insiders at the news organisation confirm.

ITN is having difficulty in finding a high-calibre political editor to take over from Michael Brunson who retires early next year, insiders at the news organisation confirm.

"Michael used to be the face of political news on News at Ten," said a colleague, "but now the bulletin has gone, his job has lost an awful lot of status especially among politicians."

Mr Brunson's job used to be regarded, along with the political editor of the BBC, as one of the most important journalistic roles at Westminster but is now seen as a poor second to the BBC position.

Mr Brunson also has to work later to deliver political news to the 11pm bulletin, which receives a fraction of the viewers who tuned in at 10pm.

When News at Ten was still showing, the clear front-runner to succeed Mr Brunson was Adam Boulton, the energetic political editor of Sky News. But friends of Mr Boulton are saying that he "is not keen" to take on the ITN job.

"There is a real question over whether the ITN job is any longer a step up for Adam," says one friend. "There is a sense that ITV is no longer giving news a central place in the schedule, and there seems to be an absolute conviction at ITV that it will not bring back News at Ten."

ITN is also seen as an unhappy place to work, as staff are being asked to work flexible shifts and anti-social hours in return for a 1.2 per cent pay rise. Last week they voted to take industrial action over the new working practices.

"Years ago, ITN journalists were some of the best paid, and there was a sense that they had a mandate to get the important stories, never mind the cost. Those days are gone," an insider said.

Another candidate for Mr Brunson's job is ITN's Washington correspondent, James Mates but like Mr Boulton, he is said to be unenthusiastic about taking the post.

The job is also seen as a step down for John Sergeant, the chief political correspondent at the BBC - leaving ITN insiders speculating that a lower-ranked correspondent from the BBC may be in the frame - such as Jon Sopel, the Paris correspondent, or John Kampfner, a political correspondent.

Mr Sopel is probably the best regarded outside choice, according to BBC colleagues as he is experienced on television and knowledgeable about Blairite politics, having written a well-received biography of the Prime Minister.

ITN insiders are hard pressed to think of likely women candidates.

Elinor Goodman, political editor of Channel 4, is said to be quite happy where she is - and in any case, the search is on for "the next generation" of highflyers in political journalism.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect